NBA Summer League

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The NBA Summer League, consisting of the Las Vegas Summer League, the Orlando Summer League, and the Rocky Mountain Revue is a period during which NBA teams come together to try out different summer rosters instead of their regular season line-ups. Typically, there is a mix of rookies and some of the younger bench players to see how well some players work with others. Sometimes, even unsigned players are invited to play so teams can decide whether or not they want to sign the new players. The main benefit for fans, as well as the media, is to get a preview of the top rookies and how they will fit into the NBA and how they transition from college basketball to the NBA. The NBA Summer League is also where many past draftees or players who no longer are on rosters try to make comebacks onto NBA rosters.

The Las Vegas Summer League is one of currently three summer pro leagues in the United States. One of the other summer pro leagues is the Orlando Summer League (run by the Orlando Magic), which is held at the practice court for the Magic within the Amway Center. Up until 2008, the Rocky Mountain Revue (run by the Utah Jazz) also operated until it was cancelled in 2009 due to declining participation.[1] However, in November 2014, it was announced that Utah would try and revive the Rocky Mountain Revue, albeit with a smaller amount of teams in 2015.


The Las Vegas Summer League played its inaugural season in 2004 University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)'s arena, the Thomas & Mack Center with six NBA teams – Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, and Washington Wizards – playing a total of 13 games. With Warren LeGarie leading the way, the summer league had three successful summers in which participation increased to 16 teams playing more than 40 games at UNLV. In 2005, the summer league expanded to 15 teams – Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, L.A. Clippers, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, and Washington Wizards. In 2007, the NBA attached its name to the event, making it the “NBA” summer league. In 2008, the summer league expanded to 22 teams and was sponsored by EA Sports. As of the summer 2014 season, Samsung is the sponsor and the official sponsored branding is the "Samsung NBA Summer League".


Before the 2013–14 season in NBA summer league, winning or losing mattered little. The summer league gives individual players a chance to prove their skills on the court. Some of these players hope to earn a role on their respective team's roster once the regular season starts.

If someone is not currently signed, a team might just sign him for their summer league team, which will give him a chance to prove his worth and possibly be signed to a contract during the regular season. Any team can sign him after the league is over, not just the one he played for in summer league. For example, Jeremy Lin, a Harvard student, was invited to play for the Dallas Mavericks summer league team despite being undrafted earlier in the year. In the 2010 summer league, Lin performed well and was later signed by the Golden State Warriors.

For the 2013 summer league, there will be for the first time a champion crowned. There will be 22 teams in the Las Vegas Summer League. Each team will play 3 games. Depending on the team's records all 22 teams will be in the bracket and will be seeded 1-22. Ten teams will play in the Orlando Summer League. Each team will play 5 games and for the final game there will be a championship day for the first time where the 1 seed plays 2 seed, 3 seed plays 4 seed, etc. There will not be a tournament for the Orlando summer league. There will be, however, a championship game where the 1 seed vs. the 2 seed is the championship game Then 3 seed vs 4 seed is the third place game, etc. There will be a point system for the Orlando Summer League as a win is worth 3 points and a quarter win is worth 1 point however if a quarter is tied then each team gets 0.5 points. The Oklahoma City Thunder won the first Orlando Summer League championship game over the Houston Rockets, while the Golden State Warriors won the first Las Vegas Summer League championship game over the Phoenix Suns.[2][3]


Las Vegas Summer League[edit]

Orlando Summer League[edit]

Rocky Mountain Revue[edit]

MVP winners[edit]

Year Nat. Player Pos. Team
United States
Glen Rice Jr.
Washington Wizards
Jonas Valančiūnas
Toronto Raptors
United States
Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers
United States
Josh Selby
Memphis Grizzlies
United States
John Wall
Washington Wizards
United States
Blake Griffin
Los Angeles Clippers
United States
Jerryd Bayless
Portland Trail Blazers
United States
Nate Robinson
New York Knicks
United States
Randy Foye
Minnesota Timberwolves


  1. ^ a b Las Vegas
  2. ^ a b Lillard and Selby were named joint winners.


Year League Champion Score Runner-up League MVP Championship MVP
2013 Orlando Oklahoma City Thunder 85–77 Houston Rockets Jeremy Lamb[note 1]
Las Vegas Golden State Warriors 91–77 Phoenix Suns Jonas Valančiūnas Ian Clark
2014 Orlando Philadelphia 76ers 91–75 Memphis Grizzlies Elfrid Payton[note 2]
Las Vegas Sacramento Kings 77–68 Houston Rockets Glen Rice, Jr. Ray McCallum, Jr.


  1. ^ Orlando Summer League had only one MVP Award in 2013.
  2. ^ Orlando Summer League had only one MVP Award in 2014.


External links[edit]